Whether you’re a full-time teacher, a substitute, or a parent teaching at home, sometimes your students need a little push to learn. Topics may need to be made more interesting for a specific demographic, or they just need to feel a little more relevant to the students’ life. Foreign language lessons are no different. Most teachers are fully capable of being creative and coming up with ways to shake up a language lesson and here are just a couple of suggestions to help inspire.
- Character Creation
Audience: Young Children
In this activity, children are asked to create a character. It can be anything their little minds may come up with—a human person, an animal, an imaginary creature, and beyond. To create this character, they must draw it and give it an accompanying written and spoken description and back story. For children, these descriptions do not have to be complex. It can be as simply as drawing the character—or, perhaps tracing parts and creating paper figurines, or something equally interesting and creative—and labeling the parts in the appropriate language, and telling a little about the character in a few short, simple sentences. This is an inventive way for them to practice their vocabulary.
- Scene Reenactment
Audience: High School (and Older)
Most students love films, so a great way to get them interested and challenge their comprehension is to turn them into actors. Have them choose a film in their native language or one they have seen in the foreign language, especially if you have seen one recently during class. Then, ask them to pick a scene from that film of a certain length. Their assignment will be to perform the scene in the language being taught. If someone has a strong fear of performance, then the lesson can be adjusted and they can write the scene’s script in the appropriate language. By choosing their own film—within reason, of course—they have some freedom to express themselves, and the language becomes part of their interests.
The possibilities are almost endless; teachers can do so much with language when given the freedom to transform their classes and lessons. For teaching a foreign language materials and aids, and all sorts of extras for creative lesson-making, visit World of Reading online.